discarded lies: thursday, september 21, 2017 4:34 am zst
end-times boot camp
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guest author: Howlin' Wolfowitz
Otis Rush
On the occasion of his birthday, I want to take the opportunity to pay tribute to one of the most original and influential bluesmen of all time: the legendary Otis Rush. I once remarked to florrie, "The combination of his searing guitar and his sweet soulful voice and heartfelt groans will definitely touch your soul." It certainly touches mine.

The list of artists who were inspired or influenced by Otis includes Eric Clapton, Stevie Ray Vaughan, Albert King, Pat Matheny, Jeff Beck, Carlos Santana, Mike Bloomfield, Duane Allman, Peter Green, and Ronnie Earl, among many others.

The best account of his early life I found comes from his Blues Trail marker:
Otis Rush rose from the poverty of a Mississippi sharecropper's life to international fame as one of the most passionate singers and brilliant guitarists in the blues world. Rush, the sixth of seven children, was born in 1935, according to family sources, although biographies often give his birth date as 1934. His mother, Julia Campbell Boyd, ended up raising her family alone on farms in Neshoba and Kemper counties. During the throes of the Great Depression in a segregated society, although times were hard, with the children often missing school to work in the cotton fields, Julia Boyd did own a wind-up Victrola record player. Rush heard blues records at home and on jukeboxes in Philadelphia when his mother would bring him to town. He began playing harmonica, and also sang in a church choir.

When his oldest brother, Leroy Boyd, was away from home, Otis started secretly playing Leroy's guitar. With no musical training, he devised his own unorthodox method, playing left-handed with the guitar upside down. Rush's distinctive style was rooted in his self-taught technique and his ability to transform sounds he heard into notes on his guitar. One sound he recalled from his childhood was Leroy's whistling.

As a young teen, Rush was already married, sharecropping cotton and corn on a five-acre plot. .. Rush only became inspired to be a professional musician after visiting his sister in Chicago. She took him to a Muddy Waters performance, and, as Rush recalled, "I flipped out, man. I said, 'Damn. This is for me.'"


Otis' first hit came with his very first recording, for Eli Toscano's nascent Cobra Records label in 1956: I Can't Quit You Baby. That live rendition on YouTube is from the American Blues Festival from around 1966. It's easy to see why Led Zeppelin covered the song on their first album; Jimmy Page's lead seems to be taken almost verbatim from the original.

After two years of recording hits for Cobra - including My Love Will Never Die, All Your Love (I Miss Loving), Three Times a Fool, and Double Trouble, the label went under, and Otis never had much luck with recording studios after that. He recorded the classic So Many Roads, So Many Trains on Chess in 1960, and then spent several years contracted to the Duke label, which produced only one hit - Homework, in 1962. In 1966 he participated in an excellent session for the Vanguard label. In 1969 he recorded the underrated Mourning in the Morning for the Cortilian label.

In 1971, Rush recorded the classic Right Place, Wrong Time, for Capitol Records, but they foolishly decided not to release it. It took 5 years until Otis finally bought the rights to his own music, and released it on the Bullfrog label. 1975's Cold Day In Hell was the last studio recording Otis cut in the US until 1994 brought the release of Ain't Enough Comin' In - which has been in rotation in my car CD player for a while now - I've listened to the hair-raising version of As The Years Go Passing By several times in a row sometimes.

There were some excellent live albums in the interim, notably So Many Roads, and Tops, and the more recently released and highly acclaimed Live at the Wise Fools Pub, recorded in 1976. Another relatively recently live release was the DVD Otis Rush & Friends: Live At Montreux 1986, featuring Luther Allison and Eric Clapton. A few cuts of that are available on Youtube - here's Double Trouble with Eric Clapton taking the opening vocals.

Unfortunately, Otis suffered a stroke in 2004, and his touring has been severly curtailed for now, though he still hopes to make a comeback. He even appeared on stage just months after the stroke, bringing the audience and band members near to tears with emotion. He was recognized by the state of Missouri at the dedication of the aforementioned Blues Trail marker in 2007, and his website continues to be updated with news.

I wish Mr. Rush continued good health and all the best. Happy Birthday, Otis!!
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guest author: Springsky
Leaving Neverland
It’s June, and we’re outside a convenience store in Baker, California. It’s a zillion degrees out. The four of us are filthy. Our car is trashed, our clothes are tattered, we look like we’ve been through hell and back. The guys gather around the hood of the car and smoke pot while they discuss whether or not it’s time to re-duct tape the holes in the engine yet. I’m not wearing shoes, and my feet are burnt to a crisp. I strategically postion myself in a spot that is both shady and heavily trafficked by gas station customers. The shade doesn’t do much good, it’s still like ninety degrees out. It’s not hard to look as vulnerable and pathetic as I can.

Most of the work is done for me; I’m exhausted, dehydrated, starving, and in desperate need of a shower, and I’m a cute young girl. I begin to plead with everyone who walks by. Some people ignore me, others hand me some change or even a few dollars here and there. I’m collecting money for food, gas, possibly lodging, though we’ll probably sleep in the car, and a fresh bottle of whiskey. A middle aged man comes out of the store, and I pray he’ll take pity on me. ‘Sorry to bother you today, sir, but could you possibly spare a little change?” “Get a job!” he retorts angrily. I hate when people tell me that. Before I can bite my tongue, I snap back “Get on your knees and give me one!” He rolls his eyes and walks off, muttering to his wife, “Young people like that really have something to apologize for.” I didn’t realize it back then, but he was completely right. Road kids are eternally indebted to society.

It’s impossible to deny the beauty and romance in traveling the way we did. We were almost free. We went wherever the wind took us, without concern as to what would happen tomorrow or the next day. We saw ourselves as the revolution. We were raging against the machine! By refusing to work for The Man, we were going to change the world. There were two snags in this logic. The first was that it’s absolutely impossible to instigate a change in human consciousness by getting drunk in a ditch behind Wal-Mart. The second was that we were supporting ourselves by becoming parasites to America’s backbone. By hustling the middle class into giving us their spare change to support us, we were no better than the politicians who swindled them every day.

It sickens me to think that I used to believe that the people who were working so hard to take care of themselves and their families owed my friends and me something. Somehow, we remained completely blind to the fact that the people that we were leeching off of represented society’s core. It’s ironic to me that we spent so much time preaching to each other, and yet when we had the chance to speak to the rest of America we instead ridiculed and scoffed at her. Because we had so completely dismissed our responsibilities, it seemed natural to laugh at the working man who struggled to make ends meet. None of us thought for even a second that if maybe we had tried to relate to society our message would have been heard better.

I’m not sure any of us even knew what our message was, though. We knew we didn’t like The Man, but we didn’t know why or who he was. We knew we wanted things to be different, but we didn’t know what kind of changes to make. Thousands of us floated around the country, begging, under the pretense of conscientious political objection, but we weren’t sure what it was we objected to. No matter what or who we thought we were, we were a bunch of kids with Peter Pan complexes. We thought our ar was against The Man, but in all honesty it was a war against adulthood.

It’s unfortunate that the “hippies” I met during the time I spent traveling were so child-like. If any of us had taken the time to reflect about what we were fighting so hard against, we could probably have started the movement that changed the world. I met many unique, articulate, intelligent people with the potential to be our generation’s greatest teacher, lawyers, politicians, and role models, if only they’d been willing to apply themselves. It saddens me to admit that we truly were America’s wasted youth. Indeed, we clashed so forcefully against society that we couldn’t step back far enough from the battlefield to see what the war was really about.
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guest author: Jefe
The Bothy Band

A bothy band was a Scottish band in the 19th century, named for the shelter on the farms where the workers would often entertain themselves with dances. The Bothy Band was one of the most talented and influential traditional Irish bands in the 1970's. Formed in 1974, they stayed together until 1979. These YouTube clips feature the band's lineup in 1976 (same as the original lineup except for the fiddler) and showcase both the driving rhythym and virtuosity for which they were known:

The Laurel Tree
Pretty Peg/Craig's Pipes
Mrs. Gilhooley's Party (Kevin Burke on vocals)
Do You Love an Apple
16 Come Next Sunday (nice bouzouki playing)

Matt Molloy, flute - Today, he is considered one of the great Irish flutists. However, The Bothy Band had to convice him to quit his job as an engineer to play music full time. Since then, he's had a hugely successful career, mainly known for his tenure with The Chieftains. He's also known for his pub in County Mayo, where the traditional music sessions are legendary, so much so that they made a cd. An interview with Matt Molloy.

Paddy Keenan, uilleann pipes - Coming from a line of pipers and taught by his father, Paddy's playing style was also influenced by his love of rock & blues. After a long absence from the music scene, he continues to perform today, mostly in the US. This interview adds some insight into his life & the band.

Dónal Lunny, bouzouki, bodhran - Multi-instrumentalist and former Planxty member, Donal Lunny is also known for introducing what's now known as the Irish bouzouki. He had a Greek rounded back bouzouki modified to have a flat back, and this configuration is now common in Celtic music. After his time in Planxty and The Bothy Band, he became one of Ireland's most sought after session musicians and producers.

Tríona Ní Dhomhnaill, clavinet and vocals; Mícheál Ó Domhnaill, guitar and vocals - The Domhnaill siblings (Tríona, Mícheál, and Maighread) sang traditional Irish songs together, mostly in Irish Gaelic. They continue to be among the most well known singers of Irish music. Mícheál collaborated with Tríona and Kevin Burke for many years after The Bothy Band's breakup. After moving to Portland along with Kevin Burke, he later returned to Ireland. He died in 2006 from a fall in his home in Dublin. Here is a video of him singing an Irish Gaelic song. Here is a recent video of Tríona and Maighread singing (with Dónal Lunny on the bouzouki & introduction). Finally, here's an Irish language clip about the siblings.

Kevin Burke, fiddle - Known for his incredibly smooth County Sligo style, Kevin Burke is one of today's great Irish fiddlers and teachers. Before joining The Bothy Band, Kevin was playing with Christy Moore, Donal Lunny's former bandmate in Planxty. When the band asked Kevin about joining (replacing Tommy Peoples, who had replaced original fiddler Paddy Glackin), he was reluctant about bolting from Christy Moore. However, Christy told him he'd be crazy not to accept. What he initially thought was a temporary fill-in gig quickly became permanent. He's currently in Portland, Oregon's second most famous Kevin.
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guest author: Jefe
Folk Revivals
In the 60’s and 70’s, Ireland, England, and the US all had folk music revivals thanks to several singers and bands. These are just a few of the bands that were at the forefront, and just a brief sampling of their songs. Please suggest others for our listening pleasure!

In Ireland Sweeney’s Men were one of the first, appearing in 1966 featuring Joe Dolan, Johnny Moynihan, and Andy Irvine. Moynihan is known for introducing the bouzouki to Irish folk music.


  • Exiles Jig (mp3)

  • Sweeney’s Men reunion, with Paul Brady filling in for Dolan (guitar), Johnny Moynihan (accordion), and Andy Irvine (mandolin & vocals): Sally Brown



Andy Irvine went on to join piper Liam O’Flynn, and Donal Lunny to record an album with Christy Moore in 1972 (Prosperous), after which the four formed the Irish folk group Planxty. Lunny and Moore left in 1973 and 74 respectively, but the original 4 reformed in 1978 for several years. They’ve recently toured together again.



As one of the YouTube commenters notes, it’s interesting to see the evolution of the hair. Other popular bands at the time included The Dubliners, Tommy Makem & the Clancy Brothers, and The Bothy Band.

Terry Woods, who had replaced Joe Dolan in Sweeney’s Men, later joined British folk band Steeleye Span (and much later The Pogues). Steeleye Span & Fairport Convention did the same for British folk that Sweeney’s Men helped to do with Irish. Both bands owed much of their distinctive sounds to their lead singers - Maddy Prior (Steeleye) and Sandy Denny (Fairport), who replaced Judy Dyble, the original Fairport singer. Denny died young, at 31, in 1978 of a cerebral hemmorhage.



Fairport had a number of fantastic musicians pass through their ranks, in addition to Denny & Dyble, including Richard Thompson and fiddler Dave Swarbrick. I once saw Iain Matthews, an early singer with the band (the male lead on the “Time Will Show” clip), at the Jewish Mother cafe in Virginia Beach. He was very friendly, chatting with everyone between sets & taking requests (one I remember was Blister in the Sun). There was a group having a loud conversation during one of his sets. Dirty looks from the other guests weren’t helping, so he asked them to keep it down, noting that he didn’t bother them at McDonalds when they were working.

In the U.S., The Kingston Trio and New Lost City Ramblers were at the forefront of our own folk revival. The Kingston Trio came on the scene in the late 50’s with the lineup of Dave Guard, Nick Reynolds, and Bob Shane. They’ve continued to tour since then with various rotating members. New Lost City Ramblers are a favorite of mine, with their blending of many instruments (guitar, banjo, fiddle, accordion, auto harp, and much more) and styles (original and traditional folk songs, Old Time, bluegrass, Cajun).



NLCR - There isn’t much good on YouTube, so here are a couple of mp3’s from the cd 40 Years of Concert Performances. If you like these, check out the cd or downloads (I recommend the cd for the liner notes). The hard part was picking just two to post: Madeleine and Old Bell Cow mp3’s.

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guest author: Sean Gleeson
A friendly letter from the RIAA
Hey, valued music consumer:

Boo! Just kidding. Ha, ha. Don't be scared. We're not the bad guys.

We're the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA). We're people just like you, except that technically, we're a cartel of very large corporations. Technically. But untechnically, we're people just like you!

And like you, we've seen all those headlines. The ones about how we're, like, totally crushing innocent people. Extorting thousands of dollars in settlements, without proof, because the defendants can't afford to fight us in court. Ruining lives of little people, to underwrite the cocaine-fueled orgies of our fatcat lawyers and pampered rock stars, who openly detest you. Mansions, sports cars, private jets, and high-priced hookers. In Thailand, you can get one that's a guaranteed virgin, and you get her for a month. Where was I? Read that back to me. Oh, right.

We've seen those headlines. But there's really nothing to be scared of. Sure, we sue people. Lots of people. And it does cost some money if you try to defend yourself. One lady tried it, and it's costing her $80,000. So far, she's the only one. Everyone else just pays us what we tell them.

But see, we only sue people who break the rules! They're the bad guys, not us. They're stealing! We're just standing up for fairness and goodness! And against badness. People who follow our fair and good rules won't get sued. You want to follow the rules, don't you? You want to be good, right? Of course you do. You'd better.

But merely wanting to obey the rules won't help you much, if you don't know the rules! To help you obey the rules you want to obey but don't know what they are, we've put together this little Question-and-Answer essay, to explain the simple, fair, good RIAA rules. Hopefully, it will help remove some of your confusion and silly fears about such technical terms as "copyright," "intellectual property," "lawsuit," "damages," and "prison."

Q: I want to be legal and stuff, but I don't know what the rules are!

A: That's not a question.

Q: Okay. Can I download music over the Internet?

A: No.

Q: No? That's it? No?

A: Yes.

Q: But what if I pay for it, like at iTunes?

A: You're allowed to pay for it, but not to download it. Downloading is stealing.

Q: But I paid for it!

A: That's not a question.

Q: But if I buy a song at iTunes, what am I buying, exactly?

A: Great question! If you read your contract when you buy the song, you'll see that you are simply buying the right to hear the song, but not to make copies. It is our position at the RIAA that downloading makes a copy of the song, so you do not have that right. It's all very fair, when you think about it. Sadly, most of the people we sue don't realize this.

Q: You sue people who paid for the songs?

A: Yeah, mostly. Pretty funny, isn't it? They're usually pretty surprised to find out that they are criminals, but the proof is right there on their computers. After we subpoena their computers, they usually settle just to get their computers back.

Q: How can I hear the song without downloading it?

A: There are hundreds of ways! You could buy the CD from any retailer. Or, turn on the radio.

Q: Turn on the radio?

A: Many radio stations have "request lines" where you can ask the staff to play a certain song. Or, maybe you could go to a tavern or someplace with a jukebox.

Q: Can I go to a friend's house, who has the CD, and listen to his?

A: No. That would be a "public performance," and neither you nor your friend has bought that right.

Q: If I buy the CD, can I listen to the song?

A: Ha ha! Of course! Alone.

Q: Alone?

A: Right. Where nobody else can hear it.

Q: Can I put it on my iPod?

A: No. That would be making a copy.

Q: How about, if I immediately destroy the CD, can I put it on my iPod? Then there would still be only one copy.

A: No, there would be two, because your PC stores one copy in iTunes, and another on your iPod. So, it's stealing.

Q: What if I...?

A: No.

Q: I didn't even ask yet.

A: Look, it doesn't matter. Don't you get it yet? The music is our property, not yours! Whatever is was you wanted to do with it, the answer is no! And if you try to do it anyway, we will destroy you! And if you think we're bluffing, just try us!

Q: Is there somebody I can complain about you to?

A: Sure! Just send your complaints to new_defendant@riaalawyers.org. Be sure to include your full name and address. A reply will be on its way very soon.
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guest author: papijoe
Colombian Music: Part 2 Salsa y Vallenato
In every conversation I get into at work about the impending trip to Colombia, I can always count on some cackling jackass to make the "cocaine joke". Granted Colombia's reputation for narcotrafficking and violence had been well deserved. But the character of Colombia was never defined by drug lords, or even the decades of political violence. All fruit both good and bad, has deeper roots in Colombia's history. Is it not strange that a country with such a bad reputation could rank second in a global index of happiness? Both side of Colombia need to be considered together, but since the happier side seems underrepresented in the media, let's continue with our musical tour and we may understand why Colombians have almost as many words for "party" as Eskimos have for snow...

You may have heard salsa from Cuban, Puerto Rico or Panama. Cuban salsa has the atmosphere of smoky steamy nightclubs. The salsa of the other two regions is similar only the digs are a little fancier.

Colombian salsa is music with a horizon. There is a soaring quality that strains against time and circumstance and the more jubilant the melody the more profound anguish it causes in the listener. This may be completely subjective so listen and let me know what you think.

While he is considered the Godfather of Colombia salsa Fruko shares his moniker with something most familiar to Colombians namely the native brand of ketchup. Despite the humble association, he has probably been the single most influencial person in Colombian popular music. He started at the age of 15 with the aforementioned Corralejas de Majagual. When he traveled to New York he was exposed to big band salsa and with his band Fruko and sus Tesos he launched a tradition of particularly Colombian salsa. This song El Preso shows his salsa is mighty. But he was also the empresario who founded the previously mentioned cumbia group Sonora Dinamita and made his label Disco Fuentes a pop powerhouse in Colombia for decades. His band also launched two major salsa artists. The lead singer of "El Preso", Wilson "Saoko" Manyoma was also in The Latin Brothers. They recorded one of my favorite salsas Sobre Las Olas. And Colombia's world champion salsero Joe Arroyo started with Fruko's band in the early 70s. He went on to a solo career and won the salsa competitions at the carnivals in Barranquia and Cali for years. A native Cartegenero, he has made a permanent place for himself in our family's folklore when he crashed a birthday party for my wife being held at someone's penthouse apartment in Cartagena. Rebelion tells the story of the slave trade in Cartagena. The video features some nice shots of the city. Musically it is one of the greatest of the Colombian salsas. His repetoire is deep and the distinctively expansive sound of the Colombian salsa can be heard in Bam Bam, En Baranquilla me Quedo and Pal Bailador.


Vallenato comes from a rural interior region around the city of Valledupar. It is said to have evolved from the songs of the troubadour cowboys of the region as they drove their herds from town to town. Vallenato composer Rafael Escalona was the prime mover in popularizing vallenato in the middle of the last century. He was a close friend of Gabriel Garcia-Marquez and supposedly Gabo once told Escalona that his novel One Hundred Years of Solitude was just a 350 page vallenato.

Before discussing vallenato further I have to fully disclose my current grudge against the genre. After I proposed in Colombia and had to return to the US without my fiancee, aside from a few letters photos and a small fortune in international phone card, all I had to cling to in my solitude were her vallenato mix tapes. This set up an indelible conditioned response that usually means upon hearing a vallenato I have to fight back tears. It somehow seemed appropriate then, now it's getting old, and tend to avoid the music altogether.

Currently for Colombians the most familiar voice is that of Diomedes Diaz whose talent is overshadowed by his trainwreck of a life [He makes Phil Spector look like an Eagle Scout]. His specialty is classic vallenatos based on a melodic accordion line and surprisingly sophisticalled insistent polyrhythms.

Vallenato went through a revival due to the singlehanded efforts of Carlos Vives. He grew up in Santa Marta, but his professional association with vallenato began when he played Rafael Escalona in a telenovela based on his life.

La Gota Fria is a good example of an old vallenato he has refitted as a pop song while being faithful to the spirit of vallenato. The title means "cold drop [of water]" and refers to a term we lack in English, but the French call "frisson". It's the chill one gets upon hearing a particularly beautiful piece of music.

Every famous vallenato singer need a virtuoso accordionist to embellish the mornful lyrics. Colacho Mendoza was considered the greatest accordionist of all time. Garcia-Marquez said that he was the best at interpreting the songs of Rafael Escalona. Although he hasn't shimmied with Shakira at the Latin Grammys yet, Tulio is keeping it real by using Alejandro Duran on accordion, who Colacho Mendoza defeated in a King of Kings of Vallenato competition. Here's another "old school vallenato" video of Duran.

One of my goals of this trip is to find one of those black and white vaquero hats that fit my calabasa gringon.

There are at least a dozen other distinct types of Colombian music, like the Andean bambucos and llaneros. Most are not my cup of tea. At some point I'd like to do a post on music from the Dominican Republic like merengue and bachata if there is any interest. Between now and the time I leave for Colombia I'll try to do at least one more post on costeño slang.

I feel like I've only scratched the surface of a culture of contrasts and contradictions. One could spend a lifetime trying to understand Colombia. Who knows? Maybe one day I'll try to do just that...
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guest author: papijoe
Colombian Music: Part 1 Cumbia y Porro
In trying to understand an enigmatic country like Colombia, the most accessible aspect for me was its music. Composed by history and orchestrated by a blending of cultures I hope you enjoy this auditory trip to Cartagena de Indias and beyond.

We ought to start with the most Colombian music which is Cumbia. The Spanish came to the New World with their fandangos and flamenco. They created a port on the Caribbean coast, put cannons and forts all around it and called it Cartagena de Indias. It became the viceregal capital of South America. And with all the gold they stole from the Indians they bought slaves to work on the haciendas. Lots of slaves. For some cool footage of Cartagena and a history of cumbia in Spanish I recomment this video for a feel for the birthplace of cumbia.

It's believed cumbia gets its name from a Guinean musical form called cumbe. It evolved into a courtship dance with colorful costumes. The women would perform arm motions holding their large skirts [polleras], while the men had their own motions with a large handkerchief, hat or candle, as seen in the previous video.

Closely associated with cumbia is porro. Many consider this a form of cumbia. Others claim it has a different source, possibly a Yoruban form from a different part of Africa. Either way both have been entwined in the culture and frequently perfomed by the same artists. Porro can be considered the rural counterpart of cumbia. Whereas cumbia originated in Cartagena, porros took root in the adjoining savannah region. I was exposed in my visit to Sinelejo during the Viente d' Enero festival. The story of that trip however merits a separate post.

Before getting into some samples, it would be right to acknowledge the band leader who popularized both forms in the 40's and 50s, Lucho Bermudez Here you can see his band featured on the earliest programming of Colombian television It's a shame there isn't more of his work out there on YouTube.

For some traditional cumbia check out Pollera Colorado [Red Skirt]. This video has some nice stills of folkloric costumes. Sonora Dinamita is credited with a cumbia revival in the 60s and 70s and also popularizing cumbia in Mexico. Here's a good selection: La Suavecita, the tongue-in-cheek Capullo y Sorullo and...ah just watch them all!

Here's a more modern cumbia from the Cali salsa band Grupo Niche. A current Colombia artist who still draws on cumbia traditions is Juanes

Probably the most famous porro was Ay Cosita Linda!, composed by Pacho Galan, a contemporary of Lucho Bermudez. Porros is festival music. In La Sabana these festivals often host a poor man's answer to the flamboyant bull fights of the big cities, the correleja. Instead of a toreador in fancy tights, you have a host of drunken farmhands and hooligans in the ring. Then they turn the maddened bull loose. Again, a story for another post. But up in the stands is a military style band, heavy on the brass playing porros. The louder boozier and more out of key, the better. In this "roots" style, no band compares to Los Correleros de Majagual. Another of these feast celebrations is immortalized in Festival en Guarare. Also worthy of note is La Burrita [whose video is inappropriate in so many ways]and this porro whose title I can't remember

In the second and final part of the series we'll consider the vallenato of Santa Marta and the particular Colombian salsa that reigns on both coasts in Cali and Barranquilla.
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guest author: Mrs. Lewis
Summer of Spoiled Brats
I was just reading an art review when I was struck with, let's be honest, righteous indignation at the snide and smug self-satisfied tone of the article. I was surprised at myself, but maybe if you read the article, you'll see where I'm coming from. Here's the article: Summer of self-love. What I find insulting is this part:
Eying the scores of icons on display - from the mind-bending re-creation of the Joshua Light Show to footage of Timothy Leary pushing acid tests in Central Park - inspired not just the expected rush of smug memory, but an awareness of something made palpable by its very absence from the current climate: a sense of openness, a faith in change, and thus, a very special type of romance.

Looking around at the images spread over two floors, one couldn't help but notice the pervasive hope that lives here. In the art's bold colors, the music's explorative nature and the drugs' promise of transcendence there thrives a feeling that the world could be made vastly different. And that simple people had the power to make that happen, just because they said so.


Okay, it's not just baby boomers who had that feeling. Every kid I know between the ages of 18 and 25 has had the feeling that they could make a difference. Many of them do take action and try to make a difference. Hope is a common denominator of the young. It's only as people age that they forget the power of hope, and the habit of it. The boomers as a group aren't any different than any other group. Well, maybe that isn't exactly true. They've got numbers, and they've got one other thing:
Unfortunately, the era also holds a certain intimidation factor for the young. John Mayer enjoyed a radio smash with his recent song "Waiting on the World to Change," which talked about a generation that feels too enfeebled to do anything to affect the politics around them. How could such lethargy not make people pine for a time when those who hated a war didn't just voice their anger in opinion polls, but in the streets?

They liked to cause civil unrest.

In fact those who are in the media are still acting this way. Spoiled kids having temper tantrums because the grown-ups aren't listening to them and doing things their way. Maybe it's just me, but nostalgia for lawlessness makes me nervous, how about you?
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guest author: Mr. and Mrs. RadioMattM
The Story of Fay and Matt
HER STORY


It started as an adventure. Never thinking it would last this long and shape most of my adult life, I made a decision at the age of 20 that led me, 30 years later, to Matt.

I was working as a Management trainee at a hotel close to London’s Gatwick airport. The hotel frequently accommodated Canadian and American airline crews. One airline (PWA) operated charter flights from Vancouver to London. As it was a fairly small airline, the same crews used to stay in the hotel over and over again. There were a couple of ongoing “romantic" liaisons between some of the hotel staff and airline crew. One of these liaisons was between a Captain and my friend, Joanna. Joanna was a receptionist at the hotel. The Captain lived in Vancouver and he told us stories of how beautiful Vancouver was.

Joanna and I thought it might be fun to try and get jobs in Vancouver and maybe have an adventure away from home, believing all the time that it would only be for a couple of years at most. We ended up getting jobs at Jasper Park Lodge in Alberta (because it was the closest place, on the map of job vacancies, to Vancouver!) We both hated it there, snow, deer, snow, bears, snow, no shopping, snow, snow. I would be remiss if I didn’t mention that it snowed there. A lot. We stayed in Jasper from February 5 until December 22. It snowed every month we were there.

We escaped to Vancouver, found jobs, apartments, friends, boyfriends. Joanna eventually married someone she met at work. They moved to Ontario and raised three beautiful children. I, meanwhile, continued my life in Vancouver. Moved up the corporate ladder, made a very good living and bought myself an apartment in downtown Vancouver.

The years passed and I fell in love (or so I thought) two times. The first time with a divorced Canadian guy. Looking back on that relationship it’s hard for me to fathom why I stayed in it for so long. He was horrible to me. I used to end up every weekend in tears. He cheated on me. Big time.

After that I closed up a bit, never wanting to feel vulnerable or hurt again. I avoided commitment and was quite happy playing the single woman about town. In 1984 (my G-d, I can’t believe that was 22 years ago) I went on a sailing vacation to Greece. And I fell in love, for the second time. Of course it’s so much easier to fall in love when you’re on holiday, especially in Greece. So, if you believe the chances of sustaining a relationship between two people who met on holiday in Greece – one who lived on the west coast of Canada, the other who lived in England -- were remote to naught. Naught would be correct.

So, I continued on with my great job and my friends and casual dating. Resigning myself, I suppose, to never being married or calling someone my husband. The more years that passed, the less I expected to be part of a couple. And I functioned well, I was (still am) fiercely independent, strong and financially on solid ground.

In January 2003 all that changed. My well paying, secure job was no longer considered necessary. I was notified in January that year that my job would terminate at the end of that month.

But January 2003 was significant to me in a much more special way. The 25th day of that month was the day I met Matt. I was 50 years old (Matt was 46) and the last thing I expected in my life was a future husband!

On February 11th, 2006, Matt and I became husband and wife. I look at him sometimes and wonder how I could have thought I was ever in love with those other two guys. Matt was meant to be my husband because he loves me in a way that transcends my whole understanding of what love was before I met him. He makes me feel safe. I am never vulnerable when I am with him. He reveres me and adores me. He thinks I am beautiful. And he tells me, all the time, how beautiful I am to him and how much he loves me.

I thank G-d for Matthew. And I love him, with all my heart.

HIS STORY


Nice restaurant. Married couple. Twenty-first anniversary. What kind of romantic evening do they have planned?

Sitting at the table signing their divorce papers.

It wasn’t working. Each could point fingers at the other, but why bother. I knew it was not good for me. That’s putting it mildly – it was not healthy for me. It was early September, but I had moved out over a month before. While it would take another two months for the divorce to become final, the marriage was over.

The next year, 2001, was a real joy. I was laid off from my job. 9/11. In February 2002, the job front picked up. On the romance front, things were going slowly – dodging bullets, stillborn relationships, the usual situation for someone recently divorced. Finally, I got it through my thick skull that it ain’t gonna come if you’re actively looking for it.

After 9/11, I started looking for new sources on information. Something just did not seem right with what I was getting from the news outlets in the Peoples Republic of Seattlestan. In the process, I found LGF in about October 2002. I would read it fairly regularly. Then in January 2003, there was the famous “Peaches and Cream" thread where I met Fay. We tossed some comments back and forth, and we found that we lived only about 150 miles from each other.

We started exchanging emails. Fay gave me her phone number. We were both a little nervous during the first call. Fay was soft-spoken, and spoke with her English accent. I was trying to be upbeat. I felt like I sounded lahk a gude ol’ boy frum dahn sath sumwahr. Fay told me later that she was surprised that I “sounded so much like a Yankee."

One call turned into several. We finally decided to meet – I traveled to Vancouver on January 25. When the taxi arrived in front of Fay’s building, she came out to meet me. When I saw her, I said “Wow." It was an awkward weekend, as we both were trying to get to know each other. We went over to Granville Island. A bird did a Katie Couric on my hat. Fay got soaked in the rain – those “Dammit" moments that add charm in hindsight.

I guess I managed to get through the weekend without making a fool of myself, so I was invited back.

Over the next few months, Fay didn’t seem to be too sure about whether we could have a lasting relationship. For me earlier relationships just seemed to happen, there didn’t seem to be any growth involved – and that was probably why those relationships did not work. This time, it seemed that I actually had to win Fay’s heart – and I wanted to win her heart.

About a month after we met, a surprise dinner was being given in my Father’s honor in California. I asked Fay if she would like to come with me and she said “yes". Fay and my Father hit it off right away. Later in the evening, a woman friend of my Father came up to Fay and said, “You’re Larry’s next daughter-in-law."

The relationship grew -- and somewhere along the line, we fell in love. We decided to get married. We had details to work out. We still have details to work out – living in different countries does complicate things.

Maybe neither one of us was ready before this. Fay is everything I need her to be. She is a blessing, she is a gift. I love her with all my being.

And when I first saw her as she came around the corner during the wedding ceremony, I said “Wow."

OUR STORY



The Bride, trying not to cry


We had planned to get married sometime over the summer. In order to find out what we needed to do for Matt to move to Vancouver, we saw an immigration lawyer. He told us to get married sooner, rather than later. “Make it big. Have lots of pictures. Invite friends and family. Don’t run off to Las Vegas." We needed to have evidence that this was a bona-fide relationship – not a scheme to get someone into the country.


I Do, er, I Will!


At his job, Matt is fairly low in seniority. Where he works, everyone pick his or her vacation in September. When Matt’s turn came, all he could chose from was six weeks in January and February. Matt picked one week in January, and one in February. We settled on the Saturday of the week in February for our wedding date.


Paperwork


Our friends, S & H, offered their home as the site of our wedding. We started going together about the same time as S & H. They got married two years ago – H told Matt that they would have been happy to make it a double ceremony – but we had things to iron out at the time.

We made the plans for the wedding, and got the things that we needed.

Matt, who lives in Seattle, bought his suit in Vancouver. Fay, who lives in Vancouver, bought her dress in Seattle. The dress had to be left at the store for spot cleaning and pressing, so Matt picked it up before driving up to Vancouver one weekend. Fay was terrified that the dress would be confiscated at the border. “Be sure you declare it." Matt even brought extra cash up to pay any duties that might be levied.


Proud Papa-in-law and Fay


At the border, the agent asked “Are you bringing anything into the country?"

“Yes, my Fiancée’s wedding dress." Matt was expecting to be told to pull up to the customs building. Instead, the agent just said, “OK." Matt just sat there for a second, then the agent gave him a “That’s all, you can go now" look. That was fine by us!


First Dance


All of Fay’s relatives live in England. Only Fay’s nephew -- the proud papa of Sweet Baby James -- and Fay’s best friend from school -- who is now married to one of Fay’s cousins, were able to come over for the wedding.

Matt’s parents live in California. It is troublesome for them to fly, so Matt’s Father decided he was going to drive up. Matt’s brother, who lives in eastern Washington, did not think that was a good idea – so he drove down to California and brought his parents up to the wedding. Matt’s son came up from Seattle with his girlfriend.

We got to the wedding site early, because we needed to tend to the last minute details of decorating and setting the tables, picking up the wedding flowers etc. Also, Fay was going to have her hair and her make-up done. The reason so much time is spent on the bride and not the groom is the human need to try and improve on perfection – whereas the groom is considered a lost cause.


Happy Couple


Since Fay was already occupied, Matt was given the task of meeting and greeting the guests and the Wedding Commissioner, Heather. Heather was on a tight schedule – she had to leave right away for another wedding. Heather had sent us several e-mails, telling us to be sure we had the parental information filled out on the license (she could not perform the ceremony if it wasn’t), and that we had to be on time. Matt knew where everything was – and we were able to get the ceremony started about four minutes early.

Unfortunately, Matt’s mother was too tired to stay for the dinner – which meant that Matt’s Father and Brother also had to leave. Matt’s brother, who was the Best Man, did not get to give the toast. Fay’s nephew stepped up admirably to the task.


Long Night


We got our first dance, and another dance later on for good measure.

We had a wonderful time. It was an evening that we did not want to end, but we were also tired and anxious to get on with our lives together.

There were many people who couldn’t make it, and that was sad. But we did have a great time with the people who managed to get there, including the DL contingent of floranista, Mr. floranista and Thousand Sons. Thousand Sons probably had the most “traumatic�? journey to the wedding as he so wonderfully described here.


Florrie & Thousand Sons


We thank all of our friends on Bloggie for your good wishes, and being a large part of our very special day. We hope you enjoy the photographs.
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evariste
Technology returns the joy of music to a deaf man
This guy fell in love with Ravel's Boléro at age 15, lost his hearing entirely in 2001, and eventually, with much persistent pestering of researchers and volunteering to be a guinea pig, got to hear his favorite piece of music again by helping scientists fine-tune his cochlear implant. A really inspiring story.

Wired 13.11: My Bionic Quest for Boléro
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